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Floyd County Museum up for Silos and Smokestacks ‘Site of the Year’

By James Grob, [email protected]

The Floyd County Museum is one of five finalist organizations for the Silos and Smokestacks’ “People’s Choice Site of the Year.”

Each year, Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area (SSNHA) celebrates the best in heritage development by presenting the “People’s Choice Site of the Year.” Voted on by the public, the honor is presented to only one SSNHA Partner Site.

Anyone interested can vote online through Friday this week. Voting is open to the public at www.silosandsmokestacks.org. The top three finalists as of March 25 will be invited as guests to the partner site annual training on April 5 at the Waterloo Convention Center, where the winner will be announced and receive the traveling award for People’s Choice “Site of the Year.”

Other finalist sites around the state that are up for the recognition are the Ackley Heritage Center, the George Maier Rural Heritage Center in Elkader, the Iowa State Fair and Living History Farms museum in Urbandale.

The mission of the Floyd County Historical Society is to keep alive an active interest in Floyd County history by collecting, preserving and interpreting materials relating to Floyd County. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

The museum has recently expanded its contribution to telling the agricultural history of Iowa, and more specifically Floyd County, through its education programs and public events, new exhibits, capital improvement and collections preservation projects, volunteer hours, visitor experience and agricultural manual sales.

Over the last year, the museum has included a new education program for kindergarten through 12th grade students, hosted Heritage Fest for hundreds of people, had two free open house events, and started a monthly guest speaker series featuring local history.

The museum also completed a roof replacement and three chimney removals, as well as starting a new capital improvement project to prioritize and bring up to museum standards its collections spaces, which included hiring a contract worker. The museum increased its volunteer program to have more than 70 active volunteers, who donated over 2,000 hours helping with events, behind the scenes projects, research and the front desk.

Over the last year, the museum was home to 17 new exhibits, including new and rotating exhibit spaces, ranging from monthly to six-month rotations. Staff also redesigned the gift shop, added a kitchen to be available for community room rentals, built a new website, and expanded social media and marketing, all to help create a better visitor experience.

In addition, the museum continued to provide manual and build card sales for Hart-Parr, Oliver, White, and Minneapolis Moline tractors and implements.

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